Thursday, 24 April 2014

Andrew Duff MEP Speech, Colchester 24 April 2014

Liberal Democrats are fighting for Britain to stay in the European Union and for making more of our membership. Toying with leaving the EU risks losing British jobs and influence in the world.

Our fundamental rights are European: we will fight to defend and promote the ECHR and the EU's own Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Our external security relies on European solidarity: Mr Putin has reminded us of that.

We will not combat global warming, poverty or disease if we run away from our EU commitment.

That's why I and my Liberal colleagues in the Parliament are fighting to build a stronger, more democratic and united Europe which can fulfil its true potential.

Our opponents see the EU as some kind of anti-British plot.

We see European integration as an entirely rational response to the challenges of globalisation: an open, social market economy with a new form of democratic polity, punching its weight in world affairs.

The EU is not perfect: it is still an experiment, and ripe for further reform.

But our Conservative colleagues have made Britain part of the problem, seeking all the time to dilute, to delay or to block. Too many Tories march to the beat of the nationalist drum.

Lib Dems will make Britain part of the solution to Europe's crisis.

Europe is a great place to live: Britain will be a better place if we come to believe in ourselves as a confident, modern European country.